Category Archives: Share Your Faith

The Kindness Challenge – Week 1 – Reflection

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Is there still kindness to find in this tired old world? There is as long as we are willing to extend it through our thoughts, words and actions. Kindness is not universal, or guaranteed, but it is easy enough to generate, we only have to open our mind and hearts to the possibility

That alone is a great reason to enlist in Niki’s 2017 Kindness Challenge. No matter how much kindness you think emanates from you and the way you live your life you can always squeeze out a little bit more. As I shared with Niki in an earlier comment I do not consider kindness the kinds of things we should do as a matter of politeness or appreciation. Kindness to me is about going another step or more, or taking the time to be deliberate toward another soul.

I admit I struggled with the Week 1 challenge. I don’t focus on myself very often. Not to say I am not kind to myself, I just don’t make it a conscious thing. But I see the wisdom in girding yourself up with a kindness focus so you are ready to give to others. So I took on Niki’s  Week 1 instructions and here I am with my first Reflections post.

As far as a mantra or affirmation I suppose I would think something like this “I am me, the person God made in a perfect form and He Loves me, so do I!” I do not struggle with accepting myself as much as I once did. I suppose that is as much maturity and deepening of my faith as anything else. I used to think my path in life was not ambitious enough. That was before I came to the realization that where I am is where God chose to place me.

I suppose the greatest kindness I have given to myself is to understand that truth. I no longer feel like a disappointment or that what I have done in my life does not measure up. We do ourselves and our children a disservice by setting out arbitrary milestones to meet to be considered successful. Each of us is unique and no pre-conceived benchmarks will fairly assess our lives.

Being the best “me” I can be is something I want, but not at the cost of failing to enjoy my days. My brother died unexpectedly at 29 with colo-rectal cancer. Since that moment 20+ years ago I have come to appreciate every day and certainly every birthday (see no regret for turning 50) as I know it is a gift.

This is my Week 1 reflection. I will be around to read others.

Temporary Home – Daily Post – 05/09/17

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Isn’t every home temporary? I have called many different places home over my five decade life. There was my growing up home, a place I rested my head for the most of twenty-seven years. A college dorm room for two and a half, an apartment for two semesters as a cooperative education student. A house when first married for 30 days, an apartment for two and a half years, a small home for six more and the current residence going on seventeen years.

But do you understand our home on earth is temporary? Our life will end at some point and our future home will not be temporary but forever. Many choose not to believe this and of course that is their right. I am in the camp that believes if you do not actively choose the better option you default to the one no one wants: An eternity of torment in hell.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  John 14:2-3

In John 3:16 Jesus gives us the promise that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish but have eternal life. But where will this eternal life take place? Not on earth, because nothing here is forever. In fact one day there will be a new Heaven and earth.

Jesus is working in Heaven even now to make sure there is a place that will make even the finest of temporary mansions on earth look like a cardboard shanty town.  But the best part is that once we get to Heaven we will be so consumed with worship and praise we won’t even know what things compare to on the temporary planet we thought was our everything.

Don’t concentrate on the temporary here so much that you miss the eternal promise God grants to all. The eternal reward easily within your grasp is something you must not allow to escape you.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/temporary/

Before – The 2017 Kindness Challenge

I found Niki, from The Richness of a Simple Life, during this year’s 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge. If you did not see any of her challenge posts you should click on her blog link and check it out. She has a great perspective and I am happy to connect with another strong Christian online.

Before we begin the seven week 2017 Kindness Challenge Niki has asked that we take some time to put together and intention post. What is that? It is kind of a plan for what we would like to accomplish in the Kindness Challenge. What will be the kindness you will seek to embody? How will you touch others or allow them to touch you?

I find myself in a weird mood as I approach this. I know everyone has a different perspective on kindness, but I want to share this thought. Kindness is not doing something you should do as a matter of politeness or being a positive part of society.

To say thank you is not kindness. To do something after you are instructed is not kindness, at least in my estimation. In order to register on the kindness scale I think your action must be beyond your normal habits.

The kind of example I might give is seeking out the manager of a retail store and telling them what a good job their staff does. Or what a good job they do about keeping their store clean and stocked. Take a buggy in for someone in a parking lot so they don’t have to roll it to the buggy return. You are going in anyway.

Recently there has been some opportunities to send birthday cards to members of my church. I have been selective in who I send to, choosing those who may not receive a card from anyone else. Everyone deserved to feel special on their birthday, so it is a small thing on my part.

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Looking at the seven weeks and themes I can give a better intention of what will be the focus.

  • Week 1 | Self-love
  • Week 2 | Self-compassion
  • Week 3 | Self-acceptance
  • Week 4 | Kindness role model
  • Week 5 | Choosing kindness
  • Week 6 | Kindness without expectation
  • Week 7 | Grateful for kindness

 

I may have trouble with week 1 because as a Christian I feel like self-love is something that can cause issues. This blog is called Living the J.O.Y. Principle, which espouses the idea of Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. I find the more I focus on Jesus and doing for others the happier I am.

However, I do realize you must have balance in all things and eventually you will tap yourself out with no input to your own self-development. I suppose that may be a big reason I wanted to take part in this challenge. Plus a challenge with a large quantity of participants provides someone to hold you accountable. We could all use more of that can’t we?

2017 Before Posts

 

HE AROSE!!!!

IF you are a Christian you should be celebrating today. NO WAIT! YOU MUST! YOU MUST CELEBRATE TODAY. Today is the day the greatest promise in the history of time itself was realized. Jesus the Christ shared with his disciples and everyone he met that one day he must suffer, be put to death and after three days in the tomb rise from the dead.

Today is Easter, the day each year Christians can rejoice in the promise Christ made during his brief time on earth. He told his disciples this and explained it multiple times, but yet they had not the ability to comprehend. Sure, it sounded pretty fantastic. I am sure no one else they ever knew claimed this to be their future or actually realized the feat.

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The tradition at our church is to place a purple cloth on the middle of three crosses that fronts our church on Good Friday. Purple has a royal connection so it relates to the kingship of Christ. The Roman soldiers nocked this possibility, even creating a sign to hang above Christ on the cross that named him King of the Jews. They thought they were humiliating Him even more than stripping him naked, lashing him across his body and driving steel spikes through his hands and feet.

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On Sunday the purple cloth is replaced by one that is white. The white represents purity and the victory of resurrection. There is also the connection to the white linen clothes that were found neatly folded in the tomb when Mary and Mary Magdalene came to the tomb on third day to Check on Jesus’ body.

Today people will celebrate the most important day in the life of a Christ follower. Without the truth of today nothing else in Christianity matters. Christ voluntarily chose to sacrifice His life for our sins. If we do not choose to sacrifice one day to acknowledge and rejoice we are a sad lot.

Let this day be the greatest chance to connect with the truth of Christ’s Love. Who would you willingly give your life for? Your spouse, child, parent, a good friend? What about a complete stranger? A thief. A murderer? Jesus gave his life for ALL. To balance sins not even committed yet. For all sins from the beginning of time. Jesus covers it all.

If you have never given your life to Jesus I have many posts on this blog about the process and I would love to lead you through it. Congratulations to all of you today, you are blessed beyond your wildest dreams if you have met Christ!

 

 

Denial – the easy response when you see sin in your life

DenialI know anyone who has ever been alive longer than a couple of years has heard about sin. It is the product of many of this mortal life’s good and bad experiences. Sin comes in many forms. There is purposeful sin, accidental sin, ignorant sin and more. But in the end it is all against God’s instructions for how to live a Christian life. Do you think God hides any of this information? He doesn’t. He puts it out front and center for our consumption. If we do not know its because we don’t care to look for it or ask about it.

What is the first human reaction when we are faced with the thought we may have committed a sin? I think it is denial. We think “oh no, not me!” “I didn’t sin. If so I didn’t mean to.” But if we are honest with ourselves many times we do indeed sin. I have been a Christian for more than thirty years and I still sin way too often. Thankfully my knowledge of the difference between sinful acts and those that aren’t sinful has increased, but the sin nature is still present.

I used to try the denial route. It is easy to deny and try to blame your actions on the situation, the weather, the stock market or anything else. But all this does is prolong your feeling of conviction that comes from wanting to please God with your actions. The best thing you can do when you realize you are sinning is to remove yourself from the situation and confess your sin.

Accept that you are mortal, that sin will always be a challenge and try to learn how to head it off before it gets tis claws in you. Isn’t it better to not have to dive into the denial pool? God loves you, will accept you wherever you are and will change your life, including how you deal with sin, if you will just follow his lead.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/denial/

Go Seek Your Fortune – 03/30/17

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Did you know if you are a Christian you cannot be rich? That is a perception among those without understanding of the teachings of the Holy Bible about submitting to the will of Christ. They wrongly believe if you accept Christ you surrender any chance of success and accumulation of worldly wealth.

I can tell you that is not true. God’s teaching asks us to cheerfully give 10% of what we earn. Cheerfully as in not just tossing a bill in the offering plate as it passes on Sunday morning because everyone is watching. Freely, because we want to honor God and support His ministries. Not to mention the real fact that all of it is His to begin with anyway. What exactly did you create that brings your income? Even if you conjured a new device out of thin air you used raw ingredients crafted with love by the Creator.

Moving on now, we have established it is okay to have some kind of fortune. But, the way you deal with hat fortune is just as important as how you obtain it. Here is a passage from the gospel of Luke that speaks about it.

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?   Luke 16:10-11 NIV
God will bless those He knows will make good use of the blessing. That may not always be in tangible assets. Some of the richest people on earth don’t have a bank account of note. Instead they are using their talents, which also can be considered a fortune to the glory of God.
In my estimation our time on earth is a type of fortune. Each of us has a limited shelf life. From the moment we are born there is a countdown and not making the most of our time is squandering a vast fortune. We should be busy about God’s work, sharing with others about his teachings and salvation. That is why I created this blog. I invite you to click around and see what might catch your attention here.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fortune-2/

Elixir – Finding eternal life

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Humans have sought the magic of eternal life for centuries. All the way back in 1535 a Spanish explorer and conquistador named Ponce de Leon poked around Florida seeking a magic elixir to prolong his life. Hundreds of millions of dollars flow out of bank accounts every month on creams, lotions, treatments and the promise of  extending the scope of our mortal existence.

But truly none of these mortal offerings will translate into much more than a band aid kind of help. For a lasting kind of change to the possibility of an eternal life you have one solid option: trust in Christ.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 King James Version

There is no doubt why this verse is quoted more often than probably any other verse in the Holy Bible. It is the kind of thing that everyone needs to hear. Notice the keyword whosoever. It does not say the rich, the poor, northerners, southerners, westerners, Americans, Europeans or Africans. There is no qualifier of young or old, black, white or brown. No, God’s promise is to whosoever is willing to take the step. I don’t know about you, but that is my kind of elixir.

The water of life can wash away your sins, those in the past, present and to come. How can that possibly be? Because God is involved and God has already done everything He chooses, is doing so now and will do so in the future. When you follow the teaching of John 3:16, you lock in your reservation in Heaven where eternal life awaits.

How long is eternal life? You can’t measure it in terms the human mind can grasp. Try to think of the worst lecture you ever attended, one you thought would never end. Then imagine the flip side where you never want it to end. That is somewhat like eternal life except it will NEVER end. I choose this as my flavor if elixir.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/elixir/